Compare, Antiquities:At the close of a certain Sabbath, Joseph Pandera, attractive and like a warrior in appearance, having gazed lustfully upon Miriam, knocked upon the door of her room and betrayed her by pretending that he was her betrothed husband, Yohanan.
This reminds of some evidence discussed recently of a Babylonian practice of sending a maiden into the top tower of the Ziggurat and sealing the doors at night so she would lay with the god.Accordingly, the oldest of them went immediately to Paulina; and upon his admittance, he desired to speak with her by herself. When that was granted him, he told her that he was sent by the god Anubis, who was fallen in love with her, and enjoined her to come to him. Upon this she took the message very kindly, and valued herself greatly upon this condescension of Anubis, and told her husband that she had a message sent her, and was to sup and lie with Anubis; so he agreed to her acceptance of the offer, as fully satisfied with the chastity of his wife. Accordingly, she went to the temple, and after she had supped there, and it was the hour to go to sleep, the priest shut the doors of the temple, when, in the holy part of it, the lights were also put out. Then did Mundus leap out, [for he was hidden therein,] and did not fail of enjoying her, who was at his service all the night long, as supposing he was the god; and when he was gone away, which was before those priests who knew nothing of this stratagem were stirring, Paulina came early to her husband, and told him how the god Anubis had appeared to her.
Finally, mythical Semiramis (wiki):
Onnes - Oannes AKA Dagon/ZeusSemiramis .. was the mythological Lydian-Babylonian wife of Onnes and Ninus, succeeding the latter to the throne of Assyria, as in the fables of Movses Khorenatsi.
Ninus AKA Ninurta
John the Baptist originating in the mythical context as Oannes. The Toledot's Yohanan perhaps not John the Baptist precisely, but at least our "Johannes/Oannes".
The Babylonian Ziggurat is dedicated to Marduk, who might share the Zeus characteristics of Oannes. The rival Babylonian figure of the Middle period would have come from Assyria, which began to favor Ninurta and Nabu (both with Thoth-like characteristics).
Via John the Baptist, the origins of the theological dispute you discuss taking form in the rivalry between Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian esoteric cults.